James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Porter, 31 July 1809

From John Porter

Louisa July 31d. 1809.

Honored Sir,

From our former Correspondence by Letters while you was a Member of Congress I have Reason to believe you are a friend to Every good Citizen and perticular the old Soldiers therefore I take the Liberty to write you once more Requesting yer Advice on the Subject I will Endeavour to inform you as I wish to know if my Situation does not Entitle me to a pention Agreable to a bill passed in Congress Session before last Respecting the infirm & disabled officers and Soldiers belonging to the Revolutionary Army I am one of that Number was three years & a half in the Regular Service two years in the 2 Virgina Reigment in Capt Everett Meed’s Company and afterwards Served the Eighteen months and was with Coln A Bueford to South Carrilina at his defeat and also at the Battle of Jarmintown and Brandywine have been Confined at home upwards of twenty years with the Rumatick Complaint Entirely helpless the greater part of the time and am so still in a great Measure have spent my little all on phisisions and am but little Benifited in hopes Sir you will Consider my long distress Situation and will Endeavour to give me some Relief for my Support I have wrote Mr Dawson two or three Letters but Get know answer what is the Cause I Cannot tell unless Miscarrege I A[m] yr fellow Cityzen

John Porter1

RC (DLC). On the verso Porter wrote a second appeal for JM’s intervention on behalf “of the disabled Soldiers of the Revolutionary army” and added (in a postscript): “If any Errors please to look over them.”

1John Porter (1759–1842) submitted a claim in 1793 for arrears in pay as a wagon master during the Revolution. The auditor of the treasury disallowed his claim, noting that he had been paid at least in part and “the date of the certificate seems to have been altered.” Porter corresponded with the secretary of war about a pension in 1835 (DAR Patriot Index description begins National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR Patriot Index (Washington, 1966). description ends , p. 542; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States … (38 vols.; Washington, 1832–61). description ends , Claims, 1:173, 178; Porter to JM, 13 Aug. 1802 and 1 Oct. 1806 [DLC]; H. J. Eckenrode, comp., List of the Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia [Richmond, 1912], p. 356).

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